Outstanding CASE Model School Serves as an Inspiration to Enhance STEM in Agriculture

Matthew Eddy, an agriculture instructor, represented Southeast Polk High School of Iowa, in receiving the inaugural CASE Model School Award. The CASE Model School Award recognizes a school whose CASE certified teacher facilitates CASE instruction with the highest fidelity, and offers a structured sequence of CASE courses. Eddy led the nation in adopting CASE in 2009. Through the agriculture program at Southeast Polk, he was able to field test many CASE courses.

Currently, Eddy teaches Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, Principles of Agricultural Science – Animal, Principles of Agricultural Science – Plant, and Animal and Plant Biotechnology. By offering a pathway for his students and engaging them through technology, including the implementation of CASE Online, Southeast Polk High School’s agriculture program ensures students are college and career ready with their knowledge of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Eddy has also been instrumental in leveraging funding and support for Iowa agriculture teachers through the Iowa Governor’s STEM Scale-Up program.

Along with receiving the CASE Model School Award, Eddy also presented a workshop at the National Association of Agricultural Educators’ annual convention. The workshop focused on how to build a rigorous program of study for students, as well as how to leverage funding and support for agricultural education programs.

CASE is an ambitious project, started by the National Council for Agricultural Education in 2007 and is managed by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). The primary goal of CASE is to implement a national curriculum for secondary agricultural education programs that provides high-level educational experiences to enhance the rigor and relevance of agriculture, food, and natural resources (AFNR) subject matter for students. In addition to elevating the rigor of AFNR knowledge and skills, CASE provides purposeful enhancement of science, mathematics, and English language understanding.

CASE develops curriculum utilizing science inquiry for lesson foundation and concepts are taught using activity-, project-, and problem-base instructional strategies. In addition to the curriculum aspect of CASE, the project ensures quality teaching by providing extensive professional development for teachers that leads to certification. For additional information about CASE, please visit www.case4learning.org.